Davis' lawyer responds
Published 7:43 am Saturday, July 18, 2009
Editors note: Below is a press release distributed by Brian Jones on behalf of former Washington Fire Chief Jimmy Davis:
On June 17, 2009, James C. Smith, manager for the city of Washington, issued a news release indicating, among other things, that he placed James L. Davis on administrative leave.
On Friday, the city manager issued a press release indicating that James L. Davis, chief of the city of Washington Department of Fire-Rescue-EMS and Inspections, has been separated from employment with the city of Washington.
Well in advance of the city manager's Friday press release, Davis filed a formal grievance as is required by the personnel policy for the city of Washington.
Davis has been waiting and continues to wait for the city to inform him of the date, time and location of the grievance hearing.
The grievance policy entitles Davis to confront and cross examine witnesses who the city claims have evidence against him.
Davis expects that, in advance of his grievance hearing, the city will provide him with a full disclosure of the identities of witnesses and evidence, if any, which the city claims to have in this matter so that Davis' opportunity to confront and cross examine witnesses will be a meaningful one.
Following that process, Davis will consider whether other steps are necessary to address what he believes to be an unlawful termination.
The city manager's Friday press release states that Davis declined to execute a waiver that might allow the city to release certain information concerning this situation.
Like every government employee, Davis has a right to the privacy of records contained in his personnel file. Unfortunately, he does not know all of the material contained in his personnel file, including the precise evidence the city alludes to in this case, because the city has not shared that information with Davis.
It seems disingenuous for the city to suggest that it cannot defend its termination action because the city cannot discuss publicly what it has not even shared with Davis privately.
Davis looks forward to the opportunity to review the evidence the city claims to have and to question any witnesses which the city may have to support its position.
Davis stands by his statement that he has not engaged in any wrongdoing. Davis believes that he deserves to be treated fairly and intends to make certain he is afforded every consideration the law allows.